Sports shorts: disgraced athletics chief Lamine Diack goes on trial, Patrick Mahomes inspires Chiefs
Ten things from the world of sport on Monday 13 January
1. Disgraced athletics chief on trial
The trial of Lamine Diack, the former head of the IAAF, athletics’ world governing body gets under way in Paris today. The 86-year-old is charged with corruption and money-laundering linked to the Russian doing scandal. Diack was president of the IAAF for 16 years and will stand trial alongside five others, including his son Papa Massata and the governing body’s former head of anti-doping, Gabriel Dolle. “Diack was investigated by French authorities for four years over claims he took payments of more than 3m euros to cover up cheating. He has been under house arrest in Paris since November 2015,” reports the BBC.
2. Chiefs and Packers claim NFL play-off wins
Kansas Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes orchestrated a thrilling comeback against the Houston Texans to guide his side to the AFC title game. The Chiefs were 24-0 down early in the second quarter but Mahomes responded with four touchdown passes before half time and the Chiefs scored another three after half time to win 51-31 and set up a clash with the Tennessee Titans for a Super Bowl berth. The NFC championship game will be between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers.
3. Djokovic beats Nadal for title
Serbia were crowned world champions of tennis in the inaugural ATP Cup in Sydney as Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in a 2-1 victory over Spain. Djokovic’s victory over Nadal levelled the score after Roberto Bautista Agut beat Dusan Lajovic in the opening match. Djokovic then partnered Viktor Troicki in a doubles win over Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez to claim the title. Djokovic, 32, the reigning Australian Open champion did not lose a match during the week-long event.
4. Dan Evans seeded at Australian Open
Rafael Nadal may have lost to Novak Djokovic in Sydney but he remains the top ranked player in the world will be seeded number one for the Australian Open. Djokovic will be seeded two, with Roger Federer three. Andy Murray will not be at the tournament but British number one Dan Evans will be seeded in a Grand Slam for the very first time after reaching number 32 in the world. He is the 30th seed for the event in Melbourne next week.
5. Sports stars donate to bush fire appeals
Sports stars have continued to donate to the Australian bush fire appeal. Serena Williams donated her £33,000 prize money after winning New Zealand’s ASB Classic to the appeal for victims of the Australian bush fires. It was the American’s first tennis title for three years but she said she was happy to give the money to a “great cause”. Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan, who is Australian, will donate around £15,000 to an animal rescue charity after 56 saves were made in the Premier League at the weekend. Ryan pledged to donate A$500 for each save made, and contributed five himself.
6. GB league star honoured
Former Great Britain rugby league star Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with incurable motor neurone disease last month, made a cameo appearance in front of 20,000 fans at a benefit game at Headingly. The former Leeds Rhinos scrum-half, who retired in 2017, played the final five minutes of the match against Bradford Bulls, won 34-10 by Leeds. The 37-year-old held back tears as he thanked fans after the game. “It was a who’s who of Super League royalty: Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield, Keith Senior … even former greats from the opposition – Stuart Fielden and Robbie Hunter‑Paul among them – came out of retirement for the occasion," reports The Guardian.
7. Coach apologises for 'dreadful' performance
Northampton rugby coach Chris Boyd apologised to fans after his side kept their hopes of a place in the European Champions Cup quarter-finals with a 33-20 win over Benetton. Northampton, who rested several key players, only claimed victory and a bonus point thanks to two late tries, and Boyd said afterwards: “It was a horrible game, a disgustingly dreadful performance. I don’t think we showed respect to the game, I don’t think we showed respect to the opposition.”
8. Aguero makes history
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero claimed the record for the most hat-tricks scored in the Premier League and overtook Thierry Henry as the highest-scoring overseas player in the competition’s history with a hat-trick against Aston Villa on Sunday. City ran out 6-1 winners at Villa Park to go second in the league. City boss Pep Guardiola said it was “an honour” to have seen Aguero claim the record. The 31-year-old argentine now has 177 goals in 255 Premier League appearances. Only three players, Andy Cole, Wayne Rooney and Aan Shearer, have more.
9. Selby and Ding out of Masters
Snooker stars Mark Selby and Ding Junhui suffered surprise defeats in their opening matches at this year's Masters at Alexandra Palace in London. Ali Carter, a late replacement for Ronnie O’Sullivan, beat three-time champion Selby, while Ding, who won the UK Championship last month, lost to the unfancied Joe Perry.
10. James Hook to write children's books
Wales rugby star James Hook has announced his retirement from the game, and is planning a career change – by becoming a children’s author. The 34-year-old Ospreys back won 81 caps for Wales and toured with the British and Irish Lion in 2009. Hook, who also played for Perpignan and Gloucester, said he plans to finish his coaching qualifications and will also be writing a series of rugby-themed children's books to be released later this year.